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Posted: 3/25/2002 12:48:21 PM EDT
My wife is having quite a bit of trouble with her computer crashing. It doesn't seem to be related to a particular application, at least not one running in the foreground, as far as I can tell. She is running a number of applications in the background, like AOL Instant Messenger, Palm Pilot Hot Sync manager, McAfee VirusScan, etc., but I can't tell that any one of these is particularly responsible. She had ZoneAlarm installed at one point, but this has been (mostly) uninstalled. Her computer is a little over a year old, a 1GHz Athlon Thunderbird with 256MB RAM running Windows ME. Her computer is networked with mine using a Linksys router which connects out to the Internet via cable modem. I'm almost at my wit's end with trying to solve the problem on her computer. Mine is a two-year old 650 MHz Athlon-A with 256MB of RAM running Windows 98SE, and I don't have this problem at all. Of course, I don't use a lot of the applications she does either, so I don't know whether it's an application or an OS problem, or an interaction between the two. I've thought about installing Win2k Pro on her computer, which I have available, but that in and of itself would be painful. I own System Commander and Partition Commander and thought about making two partitions on her hard drive (since she is using well under half the drive space) and installing Win2k on a separate partition, which would allow her to continue to use the primary Win Me partition until I got Win2k set up. But I don't know if Win2k is okay not being in the first partition. Also, reinstalling all her software would be a pain, particularly for Quicken, which she bought over the web and doesn't have a CD for and doesn't remember the product activation key. Any suggestions for fixing it as is or about the advisability of trying to upgrade the OS to Win2k?
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 12:54:13 PM EDT
Get windows XP, ME is the worst Windows Op system they have put out. It is not compat with many things and it crashes and freezes alot. BrenLover
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 12:56:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2002 12:59:10 PM EDT by FALARAK]
I have heard tons of issues people have with Me. I can tell you, Windows 2000 is the most stable damn OS I have ever seen. It has been rock solid on every desktop and laptop I have used. Well worth the upgrade. However, I would strongly suggest a clean install. Performing an in-place upgrade of an OS is a sre way to risk including problems of the previous OS. Do it clean, and while difficult, the time saved in the future will be well worth it. Make sure you back up everything, and get the latest copies of her software that is logo compatible with Windows 2000.... then do the upgrade. You should be able to find quicken somewhere, or contact them to extract the license key. Edited to say I run XP now, however, I had NO issues with Windows 2000 whatsoever. XP is too new to definitely recommend, however, it looks very promising so far. I have noticed a few incompatibilities, but they have been minor. If you already have a copy of Windows 2000, I would use that. XP is not worth the cost of the upgrade from W2K.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:04:50 PM EDT
My biggest gripe with XP is the lack of some drivers to use common printers, scanners etc. You just have to download them from company sites. BrenLover
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:09:06 PM EDT
Windows XP. 'nuff said. Any questions email me. Seriously though, I do a fresh install of whatever MS operating system at least once every six months just to wipe out whatever "trash" I've picked up. Seems extreme to the unwashed, but I rarely ever have problems. toast
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:16:12 PM EDT
Thanks, Falarak. I don't intend to install Win XP since I already have Win 2000. I can't imagine doing a fresh install every six months! Repeatedly installing all the software and configuring all the options again would be more of a pain in the butt than having it crash all the time. Not to mention that it seems unnecessary. I went for 5+ years on Win 95 on my old computer and 2+ years on Win 98SE on the current one and haven't had any problems.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:22:54 PM EDT
I really dislike Windows ME. Why? The name implies that the operating system is the culmination of 1000 years of technical achievement. Anybody here feel comfortable with that? How about Windows SE (Shit Edition)? Or Windows BSE (Bullshit Edition)?
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:25:45 PM EDT
win me sucks i have it on my laptop POS win me came on it im going to put win 98SE on it as soon as i get a chance win 98 SE in so far the best windows ive used XP sucked hard on my laptop crashed like crazy
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:35:28 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:39:26 PM EDT
Ummm, might I suggest installing MandrakeSoft Linux 8.2? I hear they even have an encrypted filesystem for it now (you can also use the standard Microsoft filesystem, the standard Linux filesystem, a journaling filesystem. . .). As the saying goes, "The box told me to install Win98 or better, so I installed Linux." [:D]
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:44:04 PM EDT
If you run and older system, with older programs, Win98SE is probably the way to go. Win98SE is VERY tweakable. WinME CAN be made to work, but it seems happiest with about 256 MB of RAM and Cacheman running to keep itself together. There are a bunch of tricks that work in 98SE that don't work too well in ME, in my experience. Win2K is one of the best OS made, and I recommend this one over XP (For now). Mostly because the drivers are far more mature and service pack support is available to fix bugs. XP is fantastic on newer machines. I am currently using it on my Duallie with no problems at all. XP is memory and processor hungry...be warned if trying to run it on an older system. XP's driver support is very good out of the box, and I have not had any problems finding drivers for most devices. XP will look for drivers on Windows Update automatically if your hardware manufacturer submits WHQL certified drivers - 3D Labs, ATi, Linksys, Intel, Nvidia, and Voyetra Turtle Beach I know offer their latest drivers online at Windows Update. As to your crashing problem: Win9X, in all flavors, is really not much of a multitasking platform. The kernel was not really designed to do serious number crunching across multiple threads. Excel and McAfee are not a happy couple on most 9x machines I've worked on. Win2K handles multitasking with ease with less total processor usage to boot. Same goes for XP. I would also be willing to bet her T-Bird is using a VIA (spit) chipset. Right there would be my first place to look. Unfortunately, the only solution is to trash the Mobo.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:45:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2002 1:47:07 PM EDT by BostonTeaParty]
Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed: Ummm, might I suggest installing MandrakeSoft Linux 8.2? I hear they even have an encrypted filesystem for it now (you can also use the standard Microsoft filesystem, the standard Linux filesystem, a journaling filesystem. . .). As the saying goes, "The box told me to install Win98 or better, so I installed Linux." [:D]
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I appreciate the suggestion, but I don't think you understand what I'm after. I want a reliable system. Linux fits that better than anything else. Fine. But I also have to be able to support all my wife's apps, including the ones she has already purchased, like Quicken, AIM, and her Palm Pilot software. Linux doesn't do that, so it's out. In addition, I need to be able to the upgrade, if that's what I choose to do, with as little down time as possible. That's why I'm not eager to do a full reinstall of the OS. It may be that's what I have to do, but I'd like to avoid it if I can.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:51:23 PM EDT
WIN ME SUCKS. Since you have enough machine to run 2K, do it. Win2K is probably the most stable windows platform you'll find. This machine I am working on is a 750 P3, 512mb ram, with win2k pro (not server). I am running a webserver, ftp server, and a mail server off of this machine (none of which are MS-IIS (thats another story) . My uptime since last reboot is 1435hrs 41min. The only reason for my last reboot, was to add my video capture card. I agree, its not a Sun box, but its also 1/10th the cost.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:52:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Acheron: I would also be willing to bet her T-Bird is using a VIA (spit) chipset. Right there would be my first place to look. Unfortunately, the only solution is to trash the Mobo.
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Her mobo is the Iwill KK266, which has the Via KT133A chipset. What is the issue with this? I have a Gigabyte mobo of some type on my system, which I'm pretty sure also has a Via chipset, and I haven't had any issues with it. I also have a half dozen systems at work that run Via chipset mobos without any problem.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 2:02:48 PM EDT
Dump ME. Load either 2K or XP, but either way, it's a complete reload.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 2:07:44 PM EDT
There is a published issue with Via chipsets...mostly to do with their poor PCI implentation. http://www.viahardware.com Overheating is another thing to look for with crashing problems. Another commonly overlooked item is the power supply. A weak or unstable power supply can cause a lot of grief.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 2:15:07 PM EDT
I have Windows ME. When I first got it, it was a pain to use the machine-- I MEAN A PAIN-- Boot ups were always failing. Always crashing or freezing on bootup, dying on the automatic scandisk when it started due to a crash, etc. I uninstalled McAfee Visru Scanner and almost every single problem went away with the booting/freezing and so many other things were "resolved"... McAfee SUCKS! My system is MUCH more reliable after COMPLETELY removing that piece of crap program. Anyway, I do occasionally have a crash (mainly the proxy client messing up and I have to reinstall it), but then again, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows 98 crash sometimes too... I do notice however, with a proxy client installed, hibernating and standby do not work, and sometimes shutting down freezes up... but that's probably the network/proxy causing the problems...
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 2:35:03 PM EDT
I do computers and networking for a living in the Air Force. I have seen every operating system crash, even XP Professional! I really like XP, it is less crash prone and really is a step forward for Windows. Windows XP would run great on a 1 Ghz athlon. I have run it on a PII 450 with acceptable results. 2000 is a great operating system as well, it is a lot less crash prone than 95, 98 or ME, and easier to deal with for the user than NT 4.0. I would reccomend you share out a drive on the other computer, and backup all of your wifes files. Then pop in the win 2000 disk, and completly format the drive NTFS. In my opinion, the NTFS file system is a lot more stable than FAT (windows 98). Most crashes I have seen have involved a FAT partition. You may or may not have to reload it again. This is largely dependant on what type of hardware and software you are running on the machine. Nuke it and reload it with 2K, you will be much better off!
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 3:23:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BostonTeaParty: My wife is having quite a bit of trouble with her computer crashing.
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Can you be a little more specific? Hard lockups? Error messages? Spontaneous reboots?
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 3:30:48 PM EDT
Mike, If you're interested, I've found a source for full versions of XP for $99.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 4:49:08 PM EDT
Windows Me has MAJOR networking issues. Which do show up as "crashes" (lockup's, error messages, reboots). Now the funny part was that Microsoft sold ME as a networking [i]upgrade[/i] over Windows 98. It was supposed to do networking better than 98 and equal Windows 2000. Yea, right, Microsoft.[puke] I think the major consensus is to backup your wifes data, and format the system, and install Windows 2000. FAT or NTFS. FAT if your lazy, NTFS of you want to secure files from other users. You get a performance boost with NTFS above 4 gig partitions (I think it is 4 gig, been awhile since I looked it up), but most everyday users will never notice it. Besides you can always convert FAT to NTFS later (but never NTFS to FAT). As for rebuilding your system every 6 months. If you are a budding or senior geek, and install new software on a weekly basis, tweak the registry, trouble shoot other peoples problems by recreation, yea, re-installing the O/S is manditory. Or if you are smart, build it once then ghost it. I do know that XP does have a newer interface, some nice performance tweaking, works great on newer processors. But I am not a big fan of the "big brother" licensing has implimented. So I will be living with Windows 2000 until it dies. Hopefully, by then OpenBEos will be up and running then. Besides, Windows 2000 does [b]exactly[/b] what I need it to do. Run, and run, and kill misbehaving apps without taking down the entire system.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 5:12:34 PM EDT
My windows ME BITES. Half the time it will not shut down so you have to reboot or just shut it down manually. Then next time you start up you have to go through a start up all over again. Got a free disc from HP today so I could add XP without Destroying everything in the computer. These companies have you by the gonads.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 5:22:16 PM EDT
Zak, tt tends to lockup hard, i.e., CTRL-ALT-DEL does nothing, the screen shows all the icons and so forth, but the mouse cursor doesn't move. Sometimes it won't come out of screensaver, but it also crashes when the screensaver is not active. No error messages. Don, thanks. I'm hoping to stick to Win2k since I have the CD.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 5:28:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BostonTeaParty: tends to lockup hard, i.e., CTRL-ALT-DEL does nothing, the screen shows all the icons and so forth, but the mouse cursor doesn't move. Sometimes it won't come out of screensaver, but it also crashes when the screensaver is not active. No error messages.
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I could just bet you have a Compaq ;)
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 9:21:24 PM EDT
I was wondering. I am going to buid another computer. How do I get to DOS to run FDisk? Can I partition it with FDisk? Please explain it to me like I was 12, so I do not miss any steps.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 9:37:27 PM EDT
... Win ME is a RAM hog, I hate it and I'm still running it, doh! No freeze up problems until I start stretching resources.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 9:37:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2002 9:41:24 PM EDT by Lazyshooter]
I don't know much about this stuff, but how much memory has she used? Ever tried unplugging power, plugging in again and rebooting if Ctrl, Alt, Delete doesn't work? I have had to do this at the worst times, but sometimes it's the only way I can restart. Running too much, sometimes just a couple things, with ME can really bog it down. BTW, with ME, Ctrl, Alt, Delete are my most used keys.[:D] Freezeups constantly.
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 3:52:44 AM EDT
Reload with Windows XP on top of the original disk partition. Do not create new partition or wipe out the old partition. You may be able to recover all of your data that way when it boost up.
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 5:51:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BostonTeaParty: Zak, tt tends to lockup hard, i.e., CTRL-ALT-DEL does nothing, the screen shows all the icons and so forth, but the mouse cursor doesn't move. Sometimes it won't come out of screensaver, but it also crashes when the screensaver is not active. No error messages. Don, thanks. I'm hoping to stick to Win2k since I have the CD.
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Damn, that's a tough one. This is a rather recent development, right? What version of IE are you running, and does the timing of the start of the problem coincide with an upgrade? (when I initially went from 5.5 to 6, I had lockups similar to the ones you describe when browsing the web.) All patches from windowsupdate installed? Did you run msconfig, and try playing with the items that load on system boot? You'd be surprised at what you find in there, and I'd check. Have you run regclean? Check the cooling fan on the CPU--is it spinning? Let the machine run for a while, then reboot. Go into the BIOS setup (an Athlon board almost certainly has an Award BIOS) and check the CPU/case temperatures--are they too high? Same thing with the video card (I forgat what you sid the system has in it) Check the heatsink/fan on the card, verify all is well. Are you overclocking? As far as upgrading goes, be advised that some of your wife's software may not survive an upgrade to win2k (you mentioned Quicken--do you also use quickbooks? I happen to know for a fact that the win2k installer will actually CRASH if you try to update a machien with Quickbooks INSTALLED (not running, just installed.) I get a kick out of people saying "Just put XP on it" after you've said "I already have a copy of win2k, and don't want to spend more money" about six times. By the way, I have one (one, single) ME box in the house, and it took a few months to iron out all the bugs--it's currently rock stable. I'm one of the folks that bought into the "better memory management" (true, actually) hype and upgraded. The fact that I only upgraded one machine out of the five windows boxes in the house (1 95, 1 98SE, 1 98SE/Linux dual booting laptop, 1 2k, 1 ME, along with the linux machine I'm running as a router/firewall) should tell you something.
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 6:12:05 AM EDT
Zak, thanks a lot for the advice. It is a rather recent development (last month or two). No overclocking. I'll check on the other things when I get home. I have run msconfig. I disabled the RealPlayer Start Center, which was loading on boot, because it played hell with my computer when it was loading on boot like that. I don't know why it installs itself that way. But getting rid of RealPlayer Start Center didn't fix the problem with lockups. BTW, do you know of an easy way to uninstall a portion of a program like that? Is there an easy way to find all its registry keys and know what they do?
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 7:52:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BostonTeaParty: Zak, thanks a lot for the advice. It is a rather recent development (last month or two). No overclocking. I'll check on the other things when I get home.
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Let me know what you find, and we'll go from there. Reloading a system should be a LAST RESORT--I don't care what others around here are saying about every six months, reloading a system is TIME CONSUMING, and unless you're pretty anal about where you keep your data, you WILL forget to save some of it. My ME box (the one that's stable, remember?) is a three year old machine that's seen two video card upgrades, two CPU upgrades, a motherboard swap, a CDROM swap, a SCSI adapter (and a pair of drives) added, and various amounts of RAM in the box at various times (currently at 768MB.) The OS has been upgraded twice. (98 -> 98SE -> ME.) The CPU is a Celeron II/566 overclocked to 850MHz. The primary hard drive (a 6.4GB Western Digital) has failed in the life of this machine and been replaced by a 10.2GB Quantum. The machine has NEVER been reloaded (even when the boot drive died--I was able to salvage all of the data by freezing the drive, putting it back into the system with the new drive set as slave, and doing an xcopy /c /h /e /r /k /y, then sysing the slave and doing an fdisk /mbr) Anyone who thinks reloading a system every six months is necessary (or even desireable) is a dumbass.
I have run msconfig. I disabled the RealPlayer Start Center, which was loading on boot, because it played hell with my computer when it was loading on boot like that. I don't know why it installs itself that way. But getting rid of RealPlayer Start Center didn't fix the problem with lockups. BTW, do you know of an easy way to uninstall a portion of a program like that? Is there an easy way to find all its registry keys and know what they do?
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Partially removing something like RealPlayer isnt going to happen--I don't believe its installer allows for it, and you don't want to remove registry keys willy nilly. Uninstall the program, delete its install directory, clean out any registry keys obviously associated with it, and then re-install. You can choose the components you want to add (and specifically exclude the "load on startup" bit)
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 8:24:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BostonTeaParty:
Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed: Ummm, might I suggest installing MandrakeSoft Linux 8.2? I hear they even have an encrypted filesystem for it now (you can also use the standard Microsoft filesystem, the standard Linux filesystem, a journaling filesystem. . .). As the saying goes, "The box told me to install Win98 or better, so I installed Linux." [:D]
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I appreciate the suggestion, but I don't think you understand what I'm after. I want a reliable system. Linux fits that better than anything else. Fine. But I also have to be able to support all my wife's apps, including the ones she has already purchased, like Quicken, AIM, and her Palm Pilot software. Linux doesn't do that, so it's out. In addition, I need to be able to the upgrade, if that's what I choose to do, with as little down time as possible. That's why I'm not eager to do a full reinstall of the OS. It may be that's what I have to do, but I'd like to avoid it if I can.
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My brother was a long time Windows and Linux user (works in the IT field). Finally got to the point where even [i]he[/i] got sick of the crashing Windows. He looked into the new Mac OS X with it's Linux base and slick interface (GUI for you geeks) and was won over. He can use all of his Linux apps and still have the flexibility and reliability of the Mac side. All the apps for everyday use or there, Office, Palm, Quicken, etc. And Linux runs nasty-fast on the PPC. Throw in a emulator called VirtualPC and he can run and network WIndows stuff with ease (albeit slowly, no games, etc.) Linux isn't up to the task when it comes to Desktop use and Windows isn't reliable at all (re-install every six months, ya'll thought he was joking...) and what are your choices?
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 8:52:53 AM EDT
If you suspect that your problem is in any way related to the programs that load on startup, then you may want to try the freeware program “Startup Cop” from Ziff Davis, aka PC Magazine. It identifies the programs that load, and allows you to temp disable them to see if you can isolate the problem. You can find it [url=http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/stories/info/0,,77594,.html] here.[/url] Mike
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 10:45:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By flashman: If you suspect that your problem is in any way related to the programs that load on startup, then you may want to try the freeware program “Startup Cop” from Ziff Davis, aka PC Magazine. It identifies the programs that load, and allows you to temp disable them to see if you can isolate the problem. You can find it [url=http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/stories/info/0,,77594,.html] here.[/url] Mike
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Windows ME (and I think 98, 2000, and XP) has something like this already built in. Its under [i]Start->Programs->Accessories->System Tools[/i].
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 5:02:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pdxshooter: He looked into the new Mac OS X with it's Linux base and slick interface (GUI for you geeks) and was won over.
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Darwin/Mac OS X is based on BSD UNIX, not Linux.
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 6:45:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2002 6:47:14 AM EDT by BostonTeaParty]
Okay, Zak, I was busy last night so I didn't get a chance to open up the case and check on the fans and reseat cards, but I took a quick look at the system this morning before I left for work. She is running IE 6.0.2600. I don't think it was a recent update coinciding with the problem, but I'm not 100% sure. I'll have to check. The video card is an ATI Rage XL, and the system has 128 MB of RAM. I looked for regclean on the Microsoft site, and they don't have it available any more. Even the link to the page explaining why it's not available is dead. I could probably find regclean somewhere else on the web. Or have you heard anything about a third-party utility called Regcleaner or about JV16 power tools? I've played around with the selective startup in msconfig already. That's how I got RealPlayer to quit starting on bootup. I didn't find anything else there that helped the stability.
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 6:58:17 AM EDT
She is running IE 6.0.2600. I don't think it was a recent update coinciding with the problem, but I'm not 100% sure. I'll have to check.
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Start there. Like I said, I had a similar problem when I initially upgraded to IE6. I removed the offending version (downgrading to 5.5) and my problem went away. Go ahead and remove IE6 using the add/remove programs dialog--don't worry, you cannot remove IE from the system (windows won't let you) so you will instead revert to whatever version you had previously.
I looked for regclean on the Microsoft site, and they don't have it available any more.
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My ICQ is 2532213. I'll send it to you if you want. I don't know the other packages you asked about, sorry.
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